Head Scratching…

Jesus’ teachings can often be ambiguous. Parables seem strange. Reading the gospels can leave us scratching our heads as we try to dig out the deeper truths.

Last week, Sam spoke to us about seeds—in particular the parable of the mustard seed in Mark 4. Only God can make seeds grow, and thus it is with eternal life. Only God can draw people to Himself and He often uses Bible teaching to plant “seeds” in hearts and minds. When the seed finds good soil, it can grow into something marvellous.

Sam told us an amazing story about a man from China who learned about Jesus from watching the Simpsons! Even when people mock Christianity, God can use that seed to build faith.

Come along on Sunday and hear more of Jesus’ great teaching. No matter where we are on our faith journey, there is so much more growing to do.

A Time for New Things

It’s January—a time for new things—and we have some exciting news about the home groups that are beginning this month.

For several decades now, lots of churches have found that by putting people into smaller groups that meet in homes on a regular basis, good things happen. People have a chance to really connect with a group of folks and make new friends. These friends care for them and support them along life’s journey and together their faith deepens as they wrestle with both the good and the bad that life inevitably throws their way.

We think that home groups are fantastic and we are really pleased that so many of you have indicated to us that you would like to join one of these groups. If we’ve mistakenly missed you out and you would like to be in a home group, please let us know. It’s not too late to sign up.

We will be contacting each home group participant over the next couple of days to let you know which group you will be in. Again, please do get in touch if you don’t hear from us or if you have any questions.

The new groups will meet up for the first time next week and will follow a fortnightly pattern during term time. We will be starting with a study of the book of Philippians. Philippians is a short, practical and encouraging book in the New Testament. Group participants will vary in their knowledge of the Bible—some might have studied the Bible quite a lot and some never before—but we welcome that variety because we can all help each other learn.

On Sunday, Sam spoke to us from Acts 2:42-47 and challenged us to be a church that learns together and partners together. Home groups will help us to do that.

We look forward to all that God has for us in 2015! He wants to pour out His grace on us. How amazing.

PS We also have a ladies’ group that meets on a Wednesday morning and we’d be happy to have more ladies come along so let us know if you are interested.

Ekklesia in Windsor… Susan and Norm Beers explain more about the Windsor Fellowship

This article was originally published in St John’s Egham’s ‘Transform’ Magazine, Issue 32 (May – June 2014).

In the New Testament, the word “church” (ekklesia in Greek) refers to the gathering of God’s people in a particular location. So ekklesia is what’s happening in Windsor! People who live in or near Windsor, from various congregations, including St John’s, Egham, St Mary’s, Maidenhead and Christ Church Virginia Water, are meeting once a month on a Friday evening as the “Windsor Fellowship” for a worship service and social time afterwards.

The emerging objectives of the Windsor Fellowship are to: 1. Worship God, 2. Build community, and 3. Have a meaningful outreach to seekers and those not currently attending a local church.

All of the churches represented at the Windsor Fellowship have excellent ministries which have blessed us and prompted us to think of bringing that same blessing to the community where we live. We have become more and more convinced that if we could get believers in Windsor, Eton, Datchet and Old Windsor together in an evangelical Anglican fellowship, we would have a vibrant, relevant ministry that could positively impact our community with the love of Christ. Since our first meeting at the end of February, we have drawn 75 people (including 16 children) from the Windsor area. We are very excited about what God might have in store for our Windsor Fellowship. We don’t know whether it is leading to a new church in Windsor or something else, but we would ask you to join us in prayer that God will guide and direct us.

Jeff Wattley will be speaking at the next Windsor Fellowship meeting on Friday, 30th May, at 7:30pm, at the home of Curt and Janice Hopkins, Beech House, Hermitage Lane, Windsor, SL4 4AZ. Meetings planned for the summer are on 27 June, 18 July, and 29 August (also at the Hopkins’). All are welcome! If you plan to come to one of our meetings or if you would like further information please email Norm Beers (normbeers@gmail.com) or Susan Beers(susanbschaeffer@gmail.com).

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